There is something going on these days with men in their thirties.
Many of them are searching for something—that one thing that will complete them and make them feel whole.
That one thing: the perfect woman.
To be fair, most people I know, regardless of gender, are searching for that thing that will irreversibly change their consciousness or even just make them happy. But I think we all know no one thing that will bring us happiness.
Oddly enough, I’ve noticed this search for the perfect woman to be more prevalent among “conscious” or “progressive” men who I’ve heard repeatedly claim, “of course there is no one thing out there that will make me happy. What a ridiculous notion.”
And yet, time and time again I see my male friends looking for that perfect woman. I can even describe her. Shall I?
The perfect woman is beautiful. She is thin, almost breakable, but also strong. She is feminine and delicate, yet empowered. She is present, mindful, and deep. She is funny, smart, and witty. She is monogamous and polyamorous. She is tall, yet short. She is black and white. She goes to sacred temples for meditation and orgies on the weekends.
She knows her man more completely than he could ever know himself. She has no boundaries or annoying expectations for him to change, or look within, or grow. She loves and accepts every tiny thing about him, especially those things he struggles with most. She never has meltdowns, bad days, or cellulite. She is his mother, his lover, his best friend, and his therapist.
She is also a complete and utter fabrication.
I have seen relationships crumble because of this woman. This ideal and impossible being swoops in and steals our men from us, and then inevitably leaves them wandering, confused…and still searching.
So where did this sneaky conceptual goddess come from?
She was born in magazines, on billboards, and in porn. She is the photo-shopped underwear model who greets you as you check out at the grocery store. She is the cool girl on TV shows, the vixen in video games, and the manic pixie dream girl in films. She is every woman on Facebook with the perfect smile, in the perfect yoga pose, and always surrounded by lots of friends.
But this woman is a fantasy, which is much safer than the real thing.
And we are the real thing.
We are complicated, beautiful, strong, and sometimes weak. We are giving, trusting, needy, and broken. We have boundaries and a voice…and we are getting louder.
We are tired of being compared to a fantasy. We are tired of our male counterparts waiting for her, or maybe waiting for us to become her.
This gives men permission to keep searching, to walk away from the intimacy that can only come from embracing imperfection, from looking beneath the surface at the parts of us (and themselves) that are ugly and working to change, grow and love completely instead of looking for that elusive thing that will make them complete.
Women: don’t believe this myth and don’t try to become this fantasy. Because as many yoga poses as you do, as much weight as you lose, and as “down for whatever” you are, she will always win with men who are still caught up in the search.
Men, please trust me on this one: she is not out there. She is not someone you have yet to meet, and she is not your future soul mate.
If you’re waiting for your love to become her, stop. See your partner for the imperfect, challenging, and beautiful being she is. If you are single and searching for her, or hopping from girl to girl looking for her, or believe that when you finally find her, your relationship will not require work or change or growth, remind yourself this:
The thing you are seeking cannot be found where you’ve been searching. Perhaps looking within would be a better place to start.
Author: Natalie Grigson
Image: Movie still
Editor: Brooke Breazeale
Copy Editor: Lieselle Davidson